How I made Extra Cash on Stuff I was Already Buying

Published on September 26, 2016 by Lauren

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, take a look at my disclosure policy.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, take a look at my disclosure policy.

I am all about saving money wherever and whenever possible. Sometimes, though, it is easy to fall into the trap of buying extra stuff that is not in the budget just to get the “savings”. But, let's be honest. That's not really savings.

But, if I can earn extra cash and save on stuff I was already going to buy without breaking my routine (or my budget), I'm in!

6 ways to earn extra cash with Cash Back Apps and Save with stuff you are already buying.

1. Scan your Groceries

If you join the National Consumer Panel (it's free), you can use your phone to scan items you bought. You can also share information about non-barcoded items like produce, meat, baked goods, prescriptions, and gasoline. Then, your information gets sent to the NCP weekly, and as an active participant, you'll earn points! The longer you remain on the panel, the more points you will earn. You also earn entries into their sweepstakes for extra points, gift cards, cash, and a $20,000 quarterly Grand Prize! On top of that, there are other discounts and offers they make available to their panelists. You will need to check if they are accepting panelists for your area.

Give the National Consumer Panel a try and start earning points right away!

2. Get the best deals without even looking!

I LOVE using the Favado app! It is so user-friendly and helps me save time and money! Once you download the app, you can add grocery or drug stores in your area to your list. The App will remember your store choices and load sale prices and deals in your stores.

It also lets you know if there are coupons available on those items and where to get them. You can add items to shopping lists by store right inside the app and cross them off once you've gotten them. Favado is a real time and money saver in your house. My sale and deal hunting is done for me at the same time I make my shopping lists. Bam.

cash back apps

3. Get a Free $10 Amazon Gift card

Are you not using Ebates when you shop online? Ebates is a shopping portal that earns you points by buying stuff at your favorite online stores.

Sign up right here and you'll get a FREE $10 Amazon gift card to use on a purchase of $25 or more. The next time you want to buy something online, go through their site portal to your online retailer of choice (there are thousands including Target, Walmart, Amazon and 1,800 other stores) and earn gift cards, get cash back, or rack up points to put towards travel!

The first time I used ebates I was like, that's it? That was so easy, why isn't everyone shopping online this way?

To get the free $10 gift card:

  1. Sign up for ebates here.
  2. Make a $10 purchase at your online store of choice through their website store link
  3. They give you enough bonus points on that first purchase to redeem for your $10 Gift card.

cash back apps

4. Meal Planning

I just can't say enough good things about these Meal Plans! Making 20 meals in one afternoon will save you money like crazy, and if many of your ingredients are on sale, you'll save even more! Besides the fact that buying larger quantities gives you a cheaper unit price, our Meal Plans save you money by having dinner already planned out for you so you won't have to order out to bail you out during that extra hectic work day. Just put it in the crock pot in the morning, and you're good to go!

Now, think about how you can stack savings and earnings by using Favado to find the best prices, Scanning your products barcodes for NCP, and snapping a picture of your receipt for Ibotta, Checkout51, and SavingStar (more about those later). So, you're saving with Meal Plans already, and you can just scan and take pictures of the stuff you just bought to earn money and get more free stuff!

Not bad. Not bad at all.

5. Earn extra gift cards and get paid to use coupons!

Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks are similar to ebates. You use their portal to buy things online, answer surveys, or even play games. For each purchase you make, survey you take, or game you play you earn points that you can redeem for gift cards or cash!

Oh, and with Inbox Dollars, they even have coupons you can print to save money, and then they will pay you for using the coupon! It's not much, but it all adds up, and you were going to buy it anyways.

cash back apps

6.  Snap a picture of your receipts with these cash back apps

These three apps are similar and you can earn money by taking pictures of your receipts!

Ibotta has a super user-friendly mobile app that you browse for items you plan on buying at the store. You unlock cash rewards on those items, then once you buy them, you scan the barcode and your receipt. Then, within 48 hours, they'll deposit money into your account. Simple! Sign up here.

With Checkout 51, they post new offers each week, you click on the offers you'd like, purchase them, then snap a pic of your receipt. Once your offers reach $20, they'll mail you a check. It's that easy! Sign up HERE.

With SavingStar, You can redeem their grocery offers by linking them to your supermarket and drugstore loyalty cards or by taking a picture of your receipt. They have an awesome ‘Healthy Offer' item that earns 20% cash back on a different produce item each week! And great offers on your favorite brands. The cash back value of each offer you redeem gets put into your SavingStar account. You can then cash it out to your bank or PayPal account. You could also use the cash value towards a gift card for places like Starbucks, iTunes, or AMC Theaters, or donate to a charity! Sign up HERE.

I know this says 6 ways, but If you add up all the money saving and earning apps, it's actually like 9 ways to earn cash and save money. Remember, this is just for stuff you were going to get anyways! If you've got a couple extra minutes, you could earn a surprising amount of money.

My sister-in-law loves the receipt scanning apps, and typically after her grocery shopping run, she'll load up the van, buckle her kids in, and before she even leaves the parking lot, she'll just scan her receipts in quick since she still has them handy. And the kids are all strapped down! It's the perfect time!

Money saving tips for moms make me happy, but money-making tips make me even happier!


  • Another app that you can earn points to redeem for gift cards is ReceiptPal. I have already received $150 in gift cards just for scanning in my receipts each week. You get 25 points for every receipt.

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